UK green bonds offer belated boost to London's ESG ambitions

The UK’s entry to Europe’s booming green sovereign bond scene could prove a catalyst for broader corporate issuance, helping London’s ambitions of becoming the continent’s ethical investing hub.

Photo: Simon Dawson/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The UK aims to issue its first green debt next year as part of a trio of measures that Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said would see Britain become “a world leader in the use of green finance.” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to unveil a 10-point plan Wednesday for a “green industrial revolution.”

That could kickstart debt sales in sterling that so far make up less than 3 percent of the green, social and sustainable bond market globally. With pressure growing from both regulators and investors for sustainable funds, London-based money managers are desperate for homegrown debt that meets their ethical mandates.

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